The film was made in 1972 and was initially unreleased until 1977 because one of its actresses sued over the use of hardcore loops Watkins shot of her. Watkins did not even know the film ever made its way to the big screen until late 1979, when someone on the street recognized him as "the guy from that movie that was throwing animal guts around".
Due to the use of pseudonyms by everyone involved and the low quality of cameras and film stock, rumors spread in New York's 42nd Street Grindhouse subculture that the film either actually depicted real murders, or that the film was the product of the Mexican mafia (owing to Roger Watkins pseudonym, "Janos", a municipality in the Mexican state of Chihuahua). The film's distributor encouraged the rumors, which resulted in the film's gaining notoriety via word of mouth.
Working titles for the film were "At The Hour of Our Death" (visible on the slate during the behind-the-scenes footage of the movie) and "The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell," which director Watkins said was inspired by the Kurt Vonnegut Jr. novel, "Mother Night."
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
The closing voice-over to the film was reportedly added by distributor Leon Fenton on the suggestion of his assistant Bernie Travis, who felt that Terry and his crew should not go unpunished for their actions. Director Watkins was apparently very unhappy with this addition, stating that it ruined the entire film.